Big Ten Monday chat wrap
October, 1, 2012
By Brian Bennett | ESPN.com
My weekly Big Ten chat is a perfect cure for a case of the Mondays. Did you miss it? No worries. You can still salvage your day with this transcript, and some choice highlights:
Nick (Boston): Hi Brian, I'm really impressed with the job Bill O brian has done at Penn state they are only a couple of plays away from being undefeated your thoughts?
Brian Bennett: I'm very impressed as well. The Ohio game was tough, but the Bobcats are good and that was O'Brien's first game. Penn State completely outplayed Virginia but couldn't make a field goal, or else they'd be 4-1. O'Brien has really done a nice job, and I'd love to see his offense with a stronger, deeper set of skill players. They are going to be a factor in the Big Ten race, even if it's mostly as a spoiler
Johnny (East Lansing, MI): Was Michigan State over-hyped in the preseason or are they under-performing?
Brian Bennett: Well, we did a lot of hyping on the Spartans, so we'll take some blame. I guess we underestimated the loss of B.J. Cunningham and Keshawn Martin and just how inexperienced the receiving corps was, as well as overestimating how much better the offensive line would be. There is still time for Michigan State to improve, however
Kit (San Francisco): What will be Ohio State's first loss if any, and what would be the uproar if they go 12-0 but no postseason
Brian Bennett: Uproar? Not much of one. Ohio State always knew this was coming. Of course, the Buckeyes would have been better off turning down last year's bowl game, but that's old news. Anyway, best chances for a loss are obviously this weekend, at Penn State, at Wisconsin and the finale vs. Michigan. I'll say they lose at Wisconsin. But if Braxton Miller gets hurt, all bets are off.
Bucky669 (Phoenix): Hi Brian, I hope you enjoyed the first weekend of conference play as much as I did. Why in the world would you pull Stave for DOB in the last series? It's not like he had thrown 3 picks and looked terrible the whole game. Of course, the outcome may not have been any different at all but I am still scratching my head over that one. Do you think it was the right call?
Brian Bennett: I loved it, Bucky. So glad to have league play back. Bielema said Stave just didn't look right after taking a big hit and getting called for intentional grounding. I think they were worried he'd either be gun shy or have cobwebs, and O'Brien had way more experience in two-minute drills. Of course, that totally backfired with the botched fourth-down play.
Tim Beckman (Urbana): I need you opinion.. what is worse: Sending 8 coaches to PSU to recruit and only leaving with a redshirt freshman fourth-string offensive lineman, losing a year's salary betting Illinois -3 versus PSU this past weekend, or our season 5 games through?
Brian Bennett: Not much can be worse than Illinois' season so far. Very dispiriting and very little fan enthusiasm. No identity on either side of the ball. Beckman has a lot of work to do.
TeeMan (Columbus): I know you're big on AMC shows. Do you watch The Walking Dead? Anyway I was wondering if you thought OSU's defense can keep it up two weeks in a row? It seems like MSU played into their hands a little bit so I'll be interested to see what they do against a more spread-it-out, outside-running team.
Brian Bennett: No, I'm just not real interested in zombies. I think Michigan State was a great matchup for Ohio State's defense because it played a pro style. The Buckeyes could load up against the run and not have to worry too much about the Spartans' receivers. Nebraska is a totally different offense, with a mobile quarterback and a lot more speed. This is a good test for Ohio State, and I expect Nebraska to score more than 16.
Josh (Indianapolis): How will Purdue do this weekend against the struggling Wolverines?
Brian Bennett: Good question. This is no doubt the defining stretch for the Boilers, who have Michigan and Wisconsin at home before going to Columbus. The defensive performance against Marshall was a bit troubling, but the Herd have a high-powered passing game that Michigan does not have. The Purdue defensive line is really good but will have to corral Denard Robinson. I think it will be a close game, and the Boilers will have to limit their mistakes to have a chance.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
12:00 PM ET Illinois Northwestern 12:00 PM ET Purdue Indiana 12:00 PM ET Michigan 6 Ohio State 3:30 PM ET 11 Michigan State Penn State 3:30 PM ET 25 Minnesota 16 Wisconsin 3:30 PM ET Rutgers Maryland